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  • Stop Hunching Your Back for Your Electronics

    [caption id="attachment_3091" align="alignleft" width="276" caption="Stop Hunching!"]Back[/caption]


    One might put the two together: excessive electronic use with weak mental healthy & activity...but what about a bad back? More and more people are putting their bodies through serious long term problems by hunching their backs, trying to see over their laptops, smartphones or tablets..Phyllis Korkki discusses more in her New York Times article So Many Gadgets, So Many Aches:

    LOOK around, they’re everywhere: hunched shoulders, angled necks and wrists, hands twisted like claws. As people harness their bodies to use more electronic devices in more places, they may unknowingly be putting themselves at a greater risk of injury.

    Things were much simpler 20 years ago, when employees worked mainly on desktop computers that could be adjusted for maximum comfort. Now people have added laptops, smartphones and tablets to their arsenals, and they’re using — or perhaps misusing — them at work, at home and in trains, planes, hotels and coffeehouses.

    Visit any airport waiting area, said Alan Hedge, an ergonomics professor at Cornell, and you can see people using their laptops in awkward and contorted positions. Too much of this activity is bound to take a physical toll.

    By positioning themselves improperly, people are at greater risk of eye strain, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, to name just a few ailments. Repetitive actions that lead to overuse of muscles and tendons can inflame them, causing pain in the hands, shoulders, neck and back.

    Laptops are adding to these problems because “they do not meet any of the ergonomic requirements for a computer system,” Professor Hedge said. The keyboard and the screen are connected, so if you place the keyboard at the ideal position for typing, the screen won’t be at the best distance for viewing, he said. Docking stations that provide an extra keyboard or monitor can help solve this problem.

    Another lurking danger is touch screens, Professor Hedge said. Keys that move up and down provide more of a cushion for the fingers, whereas the drumming of fingers against screens is harsher and can lead to soreness. For that reason, he said, a tablet should not be used heavily for typing.

    And think of our poor thumbs, which have been pressed into a level of service they were never meant to provide. Thumbs are more vulnerable than fingers because they have two bones instead of three, Professor Hedge said.

    Read more at The New York Times

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